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Court rejects plea for third trial in teen's 1995 beating death

Posted March 17, 2009
Updated March 18, 2009

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— A man serving a life sentence for the beating death of a 16-year-old nearly 14 years ago won't get a new trial.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld the 2007 first-degree murder conviction of Todd Boggess, saying there was no evidence to support his claim that he was in a "dissociative state" when he kidnapped Danny Pence and beat him to death.

Authorities said Boggess and his then-girlfriend kidnapped the Wilmington honor student from a popular Wrightsville Beach hangout on Aug. 21, 1995, and drove to northern Durham, where they gagged and blindfolded him and then bludgeoned him to death with a board.

Boggess was convicted of the crime in 1997 and sentenced to death. Citing errors by the trial judge, the state Supreme Court overturned the death sentence and ordered a new trial.

During a 2007 retrial, a forensic psychologist testified that Boggess was separated from his mental processes, such as emotions, cognition and thinking, when he committed the crime and that he might not have been fully aware of what he was doing.

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